Zambia, Namibia approve Aton, M&R merger
Publish date: 11 March 2019
Issue Number: 814
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
German firm Aton – which has made an offer to buy Murray & Roberts (M&R) – has obtained merger approvals in Zambia and Namibia. A Business Day report says the company has until the end of March to get approvals in SA and Canada for its hostile takeover bid. Aton has offered R17 a share, less than the R20 to R22 range the M&R board has put out as fair value for the business. After the release of M&R’s results for the six months to end December, CEO Henry Laas said yesterday he would not read much into the conditional approval in Zambia and unconditional nod in Namibia. ‘I cannot say that this is an indication that the deal is closer to finalisation because approvals in SA and Canada are still outstanding,’ Laas said. If Aton got the regulatory approvals before the end of March, M&R shareholders would have 10 days to consider the offer. Laas said: ‘I think there are shareholders who will accept the R17 per share.’ These would be shareholders who had considered the implications of a bigger Aton stake on the tradability and liquidity of the M&R shares. ‘The free float will be small. The Public Investment Corporation is already a major shareholder,’ Laas added.